Punters enjoy a day away from stresses
Fluoro furore and flyaway fascinators took over Awapuni Racecourse for the annual Boxing Day races.
But it might have been that leftover Christmas dinner was too appetising or the sales too appealing, because it was a mild natured crowd this year.
Sarah Gyles came along with a group of five friends because it was a good excuse to catch up and enjoy the horses.
"We've come to get out of our houses because all our family is there," she said. "It's just been full on with Christmas and this is fun, it's not busy and not hot."
Georgia Bergerson was excited to watch her father's four horses race and to support him with friends.
"We're having a great time and it's only going to get better," she said. "It's a perfect day."
British actor Jamie Bamber, known for his roles in Battlestar Galactica and Law & Order: UK, even took some time to watch his cousin, jockey Jonathan Riddell, ride in three of the day's races.
Senior Sergeant Cliff Brown said by late afternoon there had only been one arrest, for disorderly behaviour.
"There was an incident at the entry where belongings were checked; it was relatively minor," he said. "That person was refused entry because they were intoxicated and they've been taken back to Palmerston North for processing."
Mr Brown said police were pleased with behaviour at the event overall. "We've been working in partnership with the district licensing inspectors, the licensee here, as well as the racing club to improve the event and reduce alcohol related harm," he said. "That there has only been one arrest is proof of how well things are going."
RACE chief executive Alasdair Robertson said it was estimated about 5000 people came to the track for the day.
"We've had about 250 in formal dining in the Silks Lounge, but most people really come for the atmosphere," he said.
"We try to make sure we put on as many attractions as possible, like the pony club race and the Undie 500.
"This year there were no girls entered, which had the boys disappointed."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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